Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance

Affirming Sexual Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right

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Sex and Politics

European Court of Human Rights Gets it Wrong (and Woodhull Responds!)

The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance is disappointed by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights which ruled yesterday in Strasbourg, France that “The European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.”  The right to marry and found a family are fundamental human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  Article 16 of the UDHR guarantees that “men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.”  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also states that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

“All human beings have the inalienable right to form a family of their choosing,” said RJ Thompson, Director of Woodhull Alliance’s Domestic Human Rights Project.  “Universal human rights standards also include the human right to be free from discrimination based on sex.”  

According to Ricci Levy, Woodhull Alliance Executive Director:

“Human rights tribunals are not in a position to pick and choose which individuals should have their human rights protected and which should not. Human rights, including the rights to family and freedom from discrimination, are universal, belonging equally to every individual member of the human family.

Woodhull will continue to advocate for the full recognition, protection and promotion of sexual rights, as part of the broader human rights framework, within the United States. We must ensure that our decision makers, from the local level to the international level, do not succumb to political pressure based on narrow ideologies or demagoguery.  Rather, that they understand and uphold universal human rights norms and apply them equally to all people.”